SADC Industrial Symbiosis Knowledge Sharing Week
SADC Industrial Symbiosis Knowledge Sharing Week
Delegates from Namibia, Mauritius, Mozambique and Tanzania visit Cape Town to explore the potential for facilitated industrial symbiosis programmes in their own countries
05 November 2014
The first African initiative to share knowledge and collaborate on the development of industrial symbiosis programmes took place in Cape Town from 21 – 23 October. The event took the form of industrial symbiosis training for government and industry delegates from four Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, namely Namibia, Mauritius, Mozambique and Tanzania. It allowed delegates to explore the role industrial symbiosis could play in achieving their countries’ development goals including resource efficiency, job creation and economic development, and to develop strategies for the uptake of industrial symbiosis through the delivery of industrial symbiosis programmes in their countries. The event was organised by the GreenCape Sector Development Agency, working with the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) and International Synergies Limited (ISL), and was funded by the British High Commission through its Prosperity Fund.
The first day of the event focussed on providing the delegates of an understanding of the implementation of facilitated industrial symbiosis programmes around the world and the successes achieved. After a welcome by Dr Lauren Basson (GreenCape’s Strategic Initiatives Manager) and a round of introductions, James Woodcock (ISL’s International Manager) presented an introduction to facilitated industrial symbiosis programmes and described a range of potential delivery models. The delegates were provided with an overview of industrial symbiosis in South Africa by Sarah O’Carroll (Senior Facilitator of the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme) who presented the successes of the Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Programme (WISP) which commenced as a provincial level pilot in 2013. Henry Nuwarinda (a Project Manager at the NCPC-SA) presented on the two other provincial level industrial symbiosis pilot programmes initiated in 2014 in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The final presentation for the day, was done by Lauren Basson who provided an overview of the BHC-funded work that is being done in South Africa to move towards a National Industrial Symbiosis Programme and also discussed how facilitated industrial symbiosis programmes can complement eco-industrial park initiatives in Africa that are currently funded by UNIDO.
The second day saw the delegates attend the WISP’s Business Opportunity Workshop, one of the programme’s flagship events. Developed by ISL, these workshops are often described as “speed dating for business” where businesses meet and discuss new opportunities for their underutilised resources. Twenty-six companies attended WISP’s Business Opportunity Workshop; 157 resources were discussed and over 350 potential new business opportunities were identified. The SADC delegates were able to observe the industry representatives as they identified potential industrial symbiosis business opportunities, and tried their own hand at identify such opportunities through a role playing exercise. The delegates also spent time working on a strategy and implementation plan for their facilitated industrial symbiosis programmes in their own countries.
On the last day, delegates presented their strategies and plans for developing pilot industrial symbiosis programmes in their own countries as well as the opportunities identified for funding such programmes. Significantly, all four countries saw industrial symbiosis as an enabler for value chain and regional development, job creation, improved environmental performance and enhanced global competitiveness by strengthening the manufacturing sector.
“Several national goals can be addressed by industrial symbiosis,” says Arlindo Duarte from Mozambique Chamber of Commerce. Rogerio Samo Gudo from the Mozambique Federation of Industries added that “industrial symbiosis has the potential to stimulate growth in (Mozambique’s) industrial sector.”
“International Synergies Limited is immensely proud to have been part of the SADC Knowledge Sharing Week on industrial symbiosis in Cape Town in October 2014. To my certain knowledge this is the first time, not only in Africa, but anywhere in the world that five nations have come together to have such a concentrated focus on exploring how industrial symbiosis can help meet their sustainable development goals. This type of leadership is an inspiration and yet further evidence that the facilitated industrial symbiosis model that we have pioneered over many years is a significant tool in our common sustainability aspirations. I will do all I can to bring this innovative advance in Africa to the attention of governments, institutions, businesses, policy makers and media across the world,” says Peter Layourn, the Chief Executive of International Synergies Limited.
Looking towards the future of IS in Africa, Andrew Kitenge, the Executive Secretary of the African Roundtable of Sustainable Consumption and Production (ARSCP), who represented both the ARSCP and Tanzania for the week, hopes that the delegates who attended the Knowledge Sharing Week “will have a lot of success stories to share on the implementation of this eco-innovative strategy – Industrial Symbiosis” at the next regional meeting on sustainable consumption and production which will be organised by the ARSCP and scheduled for May 2016 in Kampala, Uganda. With this in mind, GreenCape and NCPC-SA will continue to share the learnings and successes gained from South Africa’s industrial symbiosis programmes with the delegates from Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania. ISL will be available to provide each country with the unique support required to initiate pilot programmes in their own countries. All parties are also keen to see the initiative go beyond these countries. Based on the experience of the Knowledge Sharing Week, the outlook of industrial symbiosis in SADC is thus very optimistic indeed.